No More Baby Book Guilt: The Real Life Guide to Keeping Memories

written by Lizzy Joyce-Brandt

Ever have someone ask you a question you should know about your child but you just don’t? Like, when did he start sitting up? When did the first tooth break through? How old when they started walking?

Life is chaotic. Especially with a little one, who is crushing milestones.

Most days, I can barely remember if I brushed my teeth.

Yet, I am the keeper of the memories. This is one of my many jobs as my son’s mother: to remember when the big and the little things happened. Baby books have gone the way of the dinosaur in my house; I simply don’t have the wherewithal to get it done. Burdened by this, I have come up with a few more efficient ways to preserve my son’s memories.

  1. Instagram/Facebook/any social media platform: seriously, before I was a mom, I was all “I get it, you have a kid, Enough with the pictures.” But I did not get it. Now, I do. With over 2,000 pictures on my Instagram (1,000 of my kid probably) I get it. Sometimes, it’s to commemorate a big milestone – a video of first steps – but sometimes it’s just to remember how cute they looked in the onesie your sister bought them. Social media is the perfect place to share and store the day to day with your loved ones, and a great place to walk down memory lane.Side note: this may not be the platform for everyone. For me, it works. My profile is private and by friend request only. Every person I am friends with I actually know. I take extreme measures to protect my child both in the real and digital world, you should too.

  2. Groovebook or another photo book subscription: I signed up for Groovebook when Richie was a few months old. It’s an app on your phone that you upload pictures to monthly, and then they print them in a 4x6 flip book. You can tear the pictures out to frame or leave them in. An awesome way to thumb through cute pictures you wouldn’t necessarily frame, but still love. Groovebook is cheap too, $3.99 a month and they send you reminders to upload your pictures every month! (#notanad, I genuinely love this service)

  3. Line-a-day: Probably my new favorite way to document our memories. We started keeping a notebook on the kitchen counter, and every night my fiance and I jot down a memory from the day. Just a line or two, with the date. Super easy and a cute way for my son to be able to relive the years when he’s older.

Life is chaotic. Especially with a little one, who is crushing milestones. Most days, I can barely remember if I brushed my teeth.

Parenting is hard but one day, not far from today, we’re going to be unable to recall the little details of their chubby hands so easily, the way they stroked their blanket across their cheeks when they were tired, their little voice before they knew their words. Those details won’t come as easily to our overcrowded brains.

“What was it they used to say?” you’ll ask your partner, lying in bed before drifting off: “What was it we used to think it was so funny?” Then you’ll pick up your phone, scroll through your Instagram—back and back and back—through the years. And there they will be, chubby-cheeked and smiling, babbling about something only you knew about, and you’ll remember.

Lizzy is originally from outside of Boston, MA but now lives in Cranston, Rhode Island with her fiance, Rich, their 14 month old son, Richie, two dogs and her postpartum anxiety. She loves to drink iced coffee, listen to podcasts and fantasize about a future of being well rested and wearing pants that fit properly.